Microsoft acquires KC authentication technology company PhoneFactor
Microsoft on Thursday announced that it has acquired PhoneFactor, an Overland Park, Kan.-based company that makes technology to enable the use of phones in security authentication. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 2001, PhoneFactor was established with the goal of becoming a "seamless part of almost every process where an individual needs to access confidential or proprietary data," Timothy Sutton, the company's co-founder and CEO, said in a blog post published Thursday.
Sutton (right) said Microsoft purchasing PhoneFactor brings his company closer to that goal.
"With today’s announcement, we have taken an important step toward realizing our vision," he said. "With Microsoft's product breadth and distribution reach, it will be possible to bring the benefits of PhoneFactor to a broader set of customers, partners and developers than we could as a stand-alone company."
PhoneFactor's products will continue to be sold as standalone offerings. Over time, the companies will work on further integration of PhoneFactor technology with Microsoft offerings like Active Directory, Windows Azure Active Directory and Office 365. PhoneFactor already works with many Microsoft products and services.
One use of PhoneFactor is for employees to verify their identity when logging into their company's website. After submitting a user name and password, PhoneFactor calls, texts or sends a push notification via the PhoneFactor app to the employee's phone. The employee is instructed to either press the pound sign to complete their authentication or press 9-1-1-pound to report fraud.
PhoneFactor is used by hundreds of organizations for millions of logins and transactions each year, according to the release.
Microsoft plans to put PhoneFactor's authentication capabilities to use across a wide array of scenarios, a representative of the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant said in a press release.
"The acquisition of PhoneFactor will help Microsoft bring effective and easy-to-use multifactor authentication to our cloud services and on-premises applications," said Bharat Shah, corporate vice president of Microsoft's server and tools division. "In addition, PhoneFactor’s solutions will help Microsoft customers, partners and developers enhance the security of almost any authentication scenario."
For a demo of PhoneFactor, see the video below.